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Proposition 122 would legalize psychedelics

Natural Medicine Health Act seeks to allow adults over age 21 to consume plants and fungi currently considered controlled substances
Posted at 6:59 PM, Oct 05, 2022

DENVER, Colorado — Voters will decide whether to allow psychedelic mushrooms to be sold and regulated in the State of Colorado.

Proposition 122 would create the "Natural Medicine Health Act." It will allow adults over age 21 access to plants and fungi that affect a person's mental health and a currently considered controlled substances under state law.

Kevin Matthews, Coalition Director Natural Medicine Colorado which is promoting the ballot measure said the goal is to help Coloradans suffering from mental illness.

"What we're working towards here is simply making these medicines as safely and accessibly available to Coloradans who would be suffering from things like PTSD, major depression, and extreme trauma and anxiety," Matthews said.

Patients who wish to consume psychedelic mushrooms such as psilocybin would do so at licensed healing centers under the direction of trained professionals.

"We want to create another mental health treatment choice for Coloradans where we're finding that traditional interventions like talk therapy and even pharmaceutical medications simply aren't working," said Matthews.

Luke Niforatos of the Committee to Protect Colorado’s Kids opposes the measure. He questions the medical benefit of legalizing psychedelic substances.

"The American psychiatric association has stated just in July, and they're the experts on psychiatric disorders and mental health disorders, they have stated there is no scientific evidence that justifies the use of psychedelics for medical purposes right now," Niforatos said.

He points out that the measure does not allow opt-out for local cities and counties. If it passes, it would have to be allowed statewide.

"So, basically what we do is allow another industry around another federally illegal substance in our state," said Niforatos. "I'm worried about the message that sends to our kids. I'm worried about the message it sends to patients who are going to be told this is medicine when our science right now tells us this is not medicine."

Proposition 122 would initially allow for these healing centers to give patients psychedelic mushrooms. But beginning in 2026, state regulators would have to expand the definition of natural medicines to include other psychedelic drugs like dimethyltryptamine or DMT for short, mescaline, and ibogaine.

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